"Changing the world . . . one common courtesy at a time."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank A Veteran

As You Salute Our Flag, We Salute You!

Today, all around this great nation, there are choruses of "America The Beautiful" and "God Bless America,” echoing from sea to shining sea.
Tiny pockets of Americana are ringing their bells in tribute to those wonderful men and women who fought and continue to fight for this great land and the many freedoms we enjoy as a result of their selfless dedication and service.

Their faces, a mix - some worn and wiser, each weathered crease hiding a story of perhaps unspeakable visions.   Others who seem just too young to have witnessed the atrocities of war. So many words that are never spoken, words that never will be . . . the innocence of youth stripped away.

They served and continue to do so in whatever capacity but they serve . . .  and they do so without bellyaching, without illusions of grandeur.  They just do it.  They do so with pride and humility.
Let today be a gentle reminder of the great sacrifices they made and continue to make.  Sacrifices such as precious time away from loved ones - time that can never be recaptured; endless anxious, sleepless nights where a bunker is sometimes a bed; living conditions and climates that we spoiled outsiders could never fathom.

We got to see our little boy take his first steps.  They didn’t.  We sat proudly in the audience as our daughter accepted her honors award. They didn’t. While we were feasting on steak and wine, they were dining on ‘whatever’ and they liked it. We rested our heads on a feather pillow.  They put theirs down on a rock.  While our mother was ill and we got to say goodbye, they remained ever dutiful to us and forfeited that chance of closure.  They never complained - they just did it.  They continue to do it.

I am honored to be in your presence.  I am honored to know you.
And so today, I call upon each and every one of us to make a phone call or send an email to someone we know who has served or is presently serving our country and simply utter two words . . . Thank You.

Make a call today or tonight and say. . . thank you. Thank you for doing what so many of us take for granted.  Thank you on behalf of my children, my grandchildren, my parents, my colleagues, myself . . . thank you.

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